13-year-old defeats Sharath Kamal in India Open semis :- Japanese Tomokazu ended Sharath Kamal’s impressive run at the ITTF World Tour India Open surprising the hero in the men’s singles semifinals.
It was a memorable tournament for Kamal who reached his ITTF World Tour semifinal since the series formerly called Pro Tour. The Japanese had a dream run and meets top seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the final tomorrow. Harimoto took Kamal by surprise from the outset with his speed around the table.
Kamal knew he had to slow things down to make a match out. The Indian did just that and with more accuracy in his drives, took an 8-2 lead in the second game. A similar pattern followed in the next two games with Harimoto on an all out attack and Kamal trying to find a way to contain him so that he could play his own game.
The sixth game too was fiercely fought but Harimoto just proved too good in the end. It was a long day in the office for world number five Ovtcharov who overcame two seven-game matches in less than 12 hours to enter the final.
The German first stretched to the limit by 39th ranked Oshima before he saw off another Japanese and third seed, Koki Niwa, in the semifinals. As 3-1 in the quarterfinals, the German was set for a straightforward win before Oshima made a recovery to take the match into the seventh and deciding game.
Kamal kept the interest with an outstanding win over longtime rival Paul Drinkhall to enter the last. However, the match between familiar foes lasted the full distance with Kamal holding his nerve to clinch the enthralling quarterfinal.
He earned his first match point with a backhand before Drinkhall took the next couple of points to make 11-10.
“Very relieved to have got over the line. Playing Paul is never easy,” Sharath after the 11-4 to 13-11 victory.